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Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
3:37 AM Sun, Jan. 20th

March Salute to Heroes a success

Prescott Valley Police and S.W.A.T. officer Scott Rudolph laughs as Jeremiah Smith, 8, left, and Tanner Carlise, 9, slam into each other trying out the department’s riot gear during the fifth annual Salute to Heroes event at the Prescott Valley Event Center on March 21. (Matt Hinshaw, file/The Daily Courier)

Prescott Valley Police and S.W.A.T. officer Scott Rudolph laughs as Jeremiah Smith, 8, left, and Tanner Carlise, 9, slam into each other trying out the department’s riot gear during the fifth annual Salute to Heroes event at the Prescott Valley Event Center on March 21. (Matt Hinshaw, file/The Daily Courier)

The fifth annual U.S. Vets Salute to Heroes event took place on March 20 and 21 at the Prescott Valley Event Center. A two-day event attendees had the chance to meet Mario Andretti, see an Indy car, the Bigfoot Monster Truck and sit in the cockpit of an F-16 fighter.

Matthew Phillips, development and activities coordinator for U.S. VETS wrote in an email that the event raised $19,035.44 for the organization, allowing it to continue directly support housing and supportive services for homeless veterans.

Phillips also wrote that more than 12,000 attendees came during the day for demonstrations, information and entertainment. Friday saw Mario Andretti with a Formula 1 car, the Drive a Firestone Tour (DAFT) truck, and two Bigfoot trucks on display at PV's Sun Valley Tires, and were given a police escort to the Prescott Valley Event Center at the end of the day. Friday evening, there was a show by the Veterans of Comedy, with an audience of 200, according to the U.S. Vets website.

The website also notes that on Saturday, each organization had a station to meet and interact with the community. Once again, the DAFT truck and Bigfoots were on display along with live music, helicopter rides, a classic car show, bounce houses and a paintball tent.

Saturday night, the Salute to Heroes concluded with what Phillips wrote was a sellout crowd at the Prescott Valley Event Center for the monster truck, BMX and first responders show. The website states there were about 4,000 in attendance and the event included a Jaws of Life demonstration, a BMX stunt crew and SWAT demonstrations.

"This year's Salute to Heroes expanded to a two-day event," Phillips wrote. "All in all, this was a great success that brought both awareness and support to homeless veterans as well as our local first responders."